The COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in tremendous societal change in a relatively short period of time. As the global pandemic continues to impact our lives, our approach to taking care of ourselves and others likely needs to be modified as well. Our team is committed to creating apps that generate novel solutions and enhance daily life. Below are some of our favorite apps that support well-being amid COVID-19. Whether you’re motivated to improve your health, express yourself creatively, or start a new hobby, we hope the diverse collection of apps below will support you in making the most of a new normal.
Physical and Emotional Health
Not surprisingly, the CDC has designated regular exercise as a step individuals should take to protect their health during the coronavirus outbreak. Yet, barriers such as gym closures, limitations on recreational group activities, and reliance on home workout videos that aren’t always engaging can make it difficult to stick to a workout routine. The fitness tool monkii offers a solution to many present-day obstacles to physical activity. The personal training app is designed to help people improve their strength, balance, and cardiovascular health through use of a set of versatile resistance training products. With hundreds of workouts that can be followed indoors or outside as well as an emphasis on fun, natural movement, the app helps users develop an agility that’s, well, monkii-like. Users can access hundreds of free workouts to get a feel for the app’s ingenuity. Kickstarter backers get access to an additional collection of multi-day programs.
As individuals balance observance of quarantine guidelines with the need to stay connected, social media use is on the rise. A recent study of 25,000 consumers across 30 markets found that social media use increased by 61% in light of the pandemic. Yet, because personal profiles tend to be more closely aligned with a highlight reel than authentic representation, social media apps don’t always provide the sense of connectedness users crave.
The app Empath is a tool for sharing true feelings and receiving validation of one’s real emotions from others. Individuals can create a post about a specific feeling (such as calm, excited, or scared) as well as thoughts associated with the feeling. The post is then anonymously published. Other users can empathize with a post, at which point the person who authored the original post has the option to disclose their identity and connect with the supportive user in their network. Empath may be particularly helpful at a time when connection has changed because it provides a space for honesty and keeps potentially inaccurate views of existing networks in check.
The many health benefits associated with meditation are becoming increasingly well-recognized. Fortunately technology can support our efforts to develop a regular practice. Unlike most contemplative products on the market, the app Tap In lets users connect to a live, daily meditation session. Users simply “tap in” to an event a few minutes before its scheduled start. The real-time component of the app gives instructors the ability to guide users in reflecting on current issues, such as life in quarantine. The app also supports users’ sense of community by showing how many other meditators are participating in a session.
Whether it’s the result of additional free time, boredom, space for self-reflection, or some combination of the three, a surge in creativity can be an unexpected upside to life in quarantine. Fortunately there are many apps designed to help individuals reap the benefits of creative expression even if the inclination doesn’t come naturally.
Artifact Uprising is an award-winning platform that allows individuals to create beautiful photographic art in minutes. Have you been meaning to organize mementos from your last vacation? Artifact Uprising lets you capture the story of your experience in a stunning photobook. Would you like to feature sophisticated art in your video conferencing frame during your next Zoom call? The app provides the tools to design the perfect wooden photo ledge. For an additional mental health benefit, create an Artifact Uprising project for others. The app helps users produce custom photo cards that can be sent to healthcare workers or anyone in need of a little more support.
If you’re interested in drawing, the sophisticated yet intuitive design of the digital sketchbook app Tayasui Sketches meets the needs of both experienced and beginner artists. The app features a range of drawing tools, layers, and gradients as well as simple iCloud backup. Users can find inspiration and connection by participating in the app’s impressive community of artists.
The app Brainsparker helps users to think more creatively in general. Users shuffle a deck of cards containing inspirational prompts (for example, “redefine the boundaries” and “look outside your field”) and images (such as a bumble bee or a peacock) and are encouraged to reflect on the prompt in the context of a personal block. Niche card packs are available for purchase and include the dialogue pack for conversations, the coach’s pack, and even the blogger’s pack. The app can also be used with Zoom to initiate an icebreaker or encourage creative thinking at your next meeting.
If you’ve been meaning to make the most of stay-at-home orders by taking up a new hobby, the health-promoting practice of gardening is an ideal place to start. However, those who don’t think they have a green thumb may be too intimidated to get started. ēdn SmallGarden is an Internet of Things (IoT) device that makes indoor gardens easy to cultivate. Users can control light schedules, water levels, and plant food release from an app synced to a smart garden device to facilitate optimal plant growth. An additional quarantine-conscious benefit is that a single garden can be monitored by more than one user, giving individuals the chance to connect over gardening successes.
Birding by ear can be enjoyed while sticking to social distancing rules and the app SongSleuth makes it possible for users to participate in the activity without being particularly knowledgeable about feathered wildlife. The app recognizes over 200 species of birds in North America based on their songs. Intermediate birders can test their knowledge by changing the app’s functionality to only provide hints. Users can save and revisit the amusement of their newfound hobby by building a collection of recordings within the app.
The coronavirus outbreak has impacted many aspects of the entertainment industry and podcasting is no exception. Yet, a unique protection of the medium is its capacity to be easily produced from home. Anchor is a podcasting how-to app with a stated mission to “democratize audio.” New podcasters can record, edit, and publish their work. Features such as simple data analytics and sponsorship matching allow users to take their projects to the next level.
Perhaps now more than ever it is important to create digital products that support and delight users on a daily basis. At InspiringApps, we stay motivated during challenging times through our shared quality of being #InspiredWhereWeAre. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our team can help turn your original app idea into a reality.